Synthetic Versus Conventional: Which Motor Oil Is Healthier For Your Car?

Motor oil is an essential substance for the internal combustion engine. Although every car owner needs motor oil, the market is flushed with different brands of motor oil and two main types: conventional and synthetic. As consumers, car owners wonder which type of motor oil works best for their car’s engine. This is because each engine is different for every motor vehicle, so synthetic or conventional oil may be healthier for some cars over others. Here are things to consider when determining which motor oil is healthier for a car.

Basic Chemical Differences

Conventional oil is general petroleum oil that is given chemical additives so that the conventional oil is given its viscosity and heat tolerance. In contrast, synthetic oil is a completely manufactured chemical compound that has the viscosity and heat tolerance of conventional, petroleum-based oil. It is created by specific companies as a product that will give an engine the highest level of lubrication across a higher temperature spectrum.

Performance Advantage

What synthetic motor oil companies and car mechanics will tell consumers is that synthetic motor oil is able to help an engine perform more effectively. The chemical compounds in synthetic oil are able to work in the coldest or hottest environments, meaning if the motor vehicle is in frigid temperatures over night, the engine will perform better, in theory, with synthetic oil versus conventional oil.

Shelf Life

Because of its chemical manufacturing, synthetic oil is able to last longer in an engine that conventional oil. Over time, the conventional oil will not only reduce in quality, but residue can build up in the engine. This can end up blocking and hindering the efficient mechanics of the engine. With synthetic oil, it can only last longer in the engine, synthetic oil has chemicals that allow it to be cleaner. This leaves no reside in the engine and minimizes reside build-up over time.

Mileage Changing

According to experts doing Volvo specialists service in Denver, car owners know they need to change their oil every couple of thousand miles. With this in mind, another difference arises between the types of oil. It is recommend that if the consumer is using conventional motor oil that the consumer get their oil changed between 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, with synthetic oil, an engine could very well not need an oil change for 7,500 to 15,000 miles.

Some Require Synthetic

As of the late 2000s, many European model cars, like BMW and Volkswagen, require synthetic oil. Some American brands, like Chevy, have also begun recommending exclusively using synthetic oil. This requirement is due to the engines themselves, which work properly with synthetic oil. It is highly recommended that all car owners look to see what the car’s manufacturer recommends as far as what type of oil is ideal for the car.


Because of its complex manufacturing, synthetic oil is much more expensive on the market than conventional motor oil. Many mechanics and consumer writers will state that the consumer may save money on the long-run with synthetic oil due to better engine maintenance and less frequent oil changes thanks to synthetic oil. However, the bottom line is that synthetic oil costs more than conventional oil.

Older Engines Tend to Need Conventional

The benefit of synthetic oil can actually be a drawback with older engines. Consumer writers claim that when a car engine has very high mileage (well over 100,000 miles), the car engine has become accustomed to conventional motor oil. Many writers claim that putting in synthetic oil into such high mileage engines will actually cause the oil to leak out or burn up faster. As a result, an older engine consumers synthetic oil faster than conventional oil.

Driving Lifestyle

People who only drive their cars for short distances or if they drive them infrequently may not need synthetic oil. For drivers who drive infrequently or even small distances, moisture will tend to build up in the engine. Although special care will be needed for cars that are driven infrequently, the oil choice for such a car may mean the driver can pick and choose whichever oil they want. Some consumer writers state that synthetic oil need to be warmed for a long period of driving or frequent driving intervals in order for the synthetic oil to be warm enough to evaporate moisture. As a result, conventional motor oil may burn away moisture quicker and easier than synthetic oil for infrequent drivers.


There are several factors when determining which motor oil is best for a consumer’s car. How much the oil may factor into the consumer’s budget and their driving lifestyle are some of the biggest factors that help determine if synthetic oil is a better choice over conventional oil and vice versa. However, as newer lines from car brands enter the market, the car companies may push synthetic oil over conventional oil for the newest cars. Always check with the owner’s manual and car manufacturer to determine the best oil for your car. Also, consider the pricing and driving lifestyle to determine if synthetic or conventional works best for the consumer.

Carsurfer Admin

One Comment on "Synthetic Versus Conventional: Which Motor Oil Is Healthier For Your Car?"

  1. Engine Oil says:

    There is no doubt that engine oil keeps important role for motors and your post really informative,thanks for sharing it.